Tricks to stage your home like the pros

It's still a buyers market, which means sellers have their work cut out for them.

By Mai Ling at MSN Real Estate May 3, 2010 11:38AM

Use two pairs of pillows to add some contrast to a room. (© House Beautiful)Even if the homebuyer tax credit has come to an end, it's still a buyers market out there, with prices back at affordable levels and mortgage interest rates near historic lows.

 

So for all of you sellers out there who haven't yet nabbed a buyer in the spring sales rush, it's still too early to believe that your chance has passed. But you'd better not be slacking off, either.

 

We've written plenty about the importance of staging your property, especially the outdoors and other areas of the home that need to make a good first impression, such as the front entry or even the front door.

But if you're looking for staging ideas to make your home's interior decor really stand out, House Beautiful's 20 Decorating Secrets has some tips you might not have thought of.

 

You could take the spendy approach to the advice, which includes tips such as buying a bigger bed to make a room look bigger, or stage on the cheap with tricks such as using at least two sets of pillows in contrasting patterns, colors and textures, shown above, to add a little more appeal to a room.

 

While you're at it, don't be afraid of color, such as gold accents or simply adding a lush, green plant to a lonely corner. And contrary to popular belief, House Beautiful also says that dark walls actually can make small rooms look bigger, and that wallpaper is easy to use. But don't feel like color is a must, because white always works, too, the article says.

There are plenty of other ways to have fun with your decor. To start with, you might want to forget some of the unwritten rules about what matches, such as dining room chairs. Why not throw in a bench to mix it up a bit? As House Beautiful says:

 

You wouldn't have eight identical chairs in your living area.

 

Similarly, there's no rule that you need a sofa in a living room when cozy chairs would just as easily suffice, and there's no rule that defines a coffee table. Instead of a traditional table, the article suggests you simply use an ottoman topped with a tray.

Think lighting, too. Play with a room's ambience by using four rather than two lamps, and don't forget to make sure your closet is not only adequately lighted, but also full of inspiration with photos or whatever else will help kick-start your day.

 

Do you have any decorating secrets that you think are key to adding appeal to a room?

 
4Comments
Jul 13, 2010 3:13AM
avatar
Staging is a sham, a gimmick. It's telling owners and buyers what to do and trying to lead them by the nose. Another cottage industry. What does a staged house look like after the furnishings are gone? The only thing left is the size and color. If a buyer is looking for the perfect home with move in qualities then they should build from scratch. Why do buyers criticize an owner's taste? Your home should be neat, clean and presentable. They are not buying their possessions, they are buying a structure that they will make their own to satisfy themselves not some realtor, designer or buyer or home stager.  You make a house a home. You decide whether that space is a bedroom or office or den. Can you visualize the house with your possessions in it, not someone's else's?
Jul 13, 2010 3:13AM
avatar
Staging is a sham, a gimmick. It's telling owners and buyers what to do and trying to lead them by the nose. Another cottage industry. What does a staged house look like after the furnishings are gone? The only thing left is the size and color. If a buyer is looking for the perfect home with move in qualities then they should build from scratch. Why do buyers criticize an owner's taste? Your home should be neat, clean and presentable. They are not buying their possessions, they are buying a structure that they will make their own to satisfy themselves not some realtor, designer or buyer or home stager.  You make a house a home. You decide whether that space is a bedroom or office or den. Can you visualize the house with your possessions in it, not someone's else's?
Jul 13, 2010 3:13AM
avatar
Staging is a sham, a gimmick. It's telling owners and buyers what to do and trying to lead them by the nose. Another cottage industry. What does a staged house look like after the furnishings are gone? The only thing left is the size and color. If a buyer is looking for the perfect home with move in qualities then they should build from scratch. Why do buyers criticize an owner's taste? Your home should be neat, clean and presentable. They are not buying their possessions, they are buying a structure that they will make their own to satisfy themselves not some realtor, designer or buyer or home stager.  You make a house a home. You decide whether that space is a bedroom or office or den. Can you visualize the house with your possessions in it, not someone's elses?
May 11, 2010 8:03AM
avatar
Nice job with your article. There are a number of things that can be done for little money that can totally change the appearance of a home. I recently wrote an article titled Staging a Massachusetts home for sale where tips where given about sprucing up a home before it hits the market.
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